After seeing the caravan safely to its final destination, the party did a small amount of exploring the town. They started by trying to find an inn – they found several, but only one had a stable that was able to hold Chaya’s horses (and, even then, it was well below what she usually considered acceptable).
The innkeeper, Shiyonin, seemed to be afraid of life. She made a half-hearted effort at negotiating the terms of the stay, but buckled pretty quickly. The party ended up with three rooms.
The party then spent a great deal of time in the common room of the inn, eating rice that hadn’t been made by Cookie.
Also staying in the inn was Doji Yopparai, who was too drunk to interact with the party much – but every time the party came into the common room, he was there (and drinking).
The party spent a day shopping. When they went through the city gates, the guards seemed to be singling them out for harassment. It was also noticed almost immediately that nearly everyone in town went about armed and armored, as if the town were on a war footing.
Oharu pretended to be shopping for a family member, and insisted on buying “Crane goods.” After a few hours of wandering, they found Sagi-shi in one of the town’s bazaars selling “hand-crafted Crane tea sets” at an insanely low price. The party bought one set.
At about this time, Chaya decided to meditate and let the Void take her where it wanted her to be. On the way there, Daredemo spotted someone (Risu) following the party. Risu refused to deliberately tell the party anything useful, but she is young and not as well-controlled as she thinks she is, so small tidbits of information slipped through anyhow.
Chaya led the party to a small house that was shoulder-to-shoulder with its neighbors. When she knocked, a window opened up in the door, and they were questioned by an unfriendly individual. Risu, meanwhile, cowered and tried to stay out of sight of the door. This was apparently Itachi’s home.
After a few minutes outside the door (while Chaya blessed the home), the party headed back to the inn. Chaya cast a spell to learn the history of the tea set, and saw two Crab clan members and then two Mantis clan members (and then fire).
The party went to talk to Goso, in hopes that he could throw some information their way, but even he clammed up when Itachi was mentioned. He told the party that Itachi “runs this town” and he “owns this town.” And angering him (or even attracting his attention) would not be wise.
With that, the party headed back to the inn for the night.